November 13, 2009

What is the Job of a Claim Adjuster?

An auto insurance claims adjuster investigates and handles auto insurance claims. They are assigned multiple claims at one time, and they deal with the claimants and any witnesses available. Put simply, the adjuster will have to decide if the claimants should get paid. They gather information such as photographs and documents that they have received from the claimants. They check hospital and police records and inspect the property damages in order to determine what the auto insurance provider is required to pay. Claims adjusters may handle property or liability claims. Property claims involve damages to buildings, and liability claims involve personal injury or property damage to a third party. A claims adjuster that handles both of these claims is called a multi-line adjuster. In addition, they investigate and make payments to the victims for their damages, when they qualify. Any claim that is not settled is usually brought before a court. The adjuster may have to appear in court, where he or she will present the facts and the paperwork to the judge.

The adjuster is required to follow company policies and procedures. For example, if a storm caused an automobile accident or damage to a house, the claims adjuster would investigate the facts and interview the claimant and any witnesses available. He or she would consult the hospital and police records, and inspect the property damage in order to determine how much the insurance agency should have to pay. The adjuster may consult with professionals, such as construction workers, engineers, lawyers and physicians, to get an expert opinion. Further, the adjuster will gather tapes or written statements, documents and pictures, creating a report based on the information he or she has gathered. If the adjuster determines that the claim is legitimate, he or she will negotiate with the claimant and settle the claim. If the claim is questionable, the adjuster will work with the witnesses and lawyers to defend the insurance company, and he may have to appear in court.

An adjuster’s job duties includes investigating liability, filing paperwork, dealing with policyholders, responding to auto insurance claims promptly, assessing damages, researching and detailing every aspect of insurance claims, negotiating with service providers for the cost of fixing the damages, and offering a settlement to the insured party after creating a claim report. Many times, adjusters are required to work 50 hours each week or more. Sometimes, they work at night and on weekends. This is because when it comes to investigating claims, an adjuster has to be able to work not only with client schedules, but also the schedules of any professionals or other people involved in the investigation. As demanding as a job as it can be, someone’s got to do it.